Sunday, February 16, 2020

Valentine's Day

Valentines from school:

Valentines from Daddy:

Jes had to work till 9 and Liz had to pick up the Ledfords, feed them, and put them to bed, waiting for Becca to get home from work.  So we had Valentine's dinner at 9:30 :)  Fun dinner with these two sweet girls <3

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Sunday Morning Observations

Wow!  It's been a rough January - Jason in diabetes ketosis, then lactic acidosis, then the kids with strep and then the flu.  I haven't been free of sickness or people at home since December 19th.  Being an introvert and needing calm, quiet, and alone time to recharge.  And there has only been one sunny day in January. Sleeping isn't going well either.  Our family is playing musical beds every night.  Summed up - I'm tired, so tired.  This morning, it was all starting the same way it does every morning - the baths and the screaming, the missing underwear, instructions given three times (at least), the dog eating diapers (so gross), the daily listing of complaints, the demands for breakfast.
I caught a second between the demands and paused for morning prayers.  I thought about myself and how I was feeling, and got this visual:
Image result for moana fire lady
and the remembered she became this woman:Image result for moana fire lady
how?  Through this:Image result for heart of tafiti

Remember I am a likener and we have been studying Lehi's dream lately.  And I likened:
Image result for moana fire lady(me, obviously)
Image result for heart of tafiti( the grace and strength that comes from Jesus Christ)
Image result for moana tafiti and ocean and moana (the ocean is the justice of God, remember Moana says"Let her come to me.")
Image result for moana putting the heart back(the Savior, loving me, despite me)
Image result for tafiti(who I can be with the help of my Savior)

What a beautiful experience this morning!

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Fun Saturday

Saturday we went and look at a property about an hour away.  I'm completely in love with it - but probably more with the idea of living away from people, having time, peace and growing things (maybe my baby hunger would decrease ;)  )
We had a great morning followed by, what else but Joy's favorite, McDonald's.

Friday, January 31, 2020


Kai and I go over this every day.  "B, /b/, backwards, braille word "but", braille number 2" 
His IEP was this month.  They are pleased with his growth and how his English is coming along!

Lunar New Year - Kai took red envelopes to school filled with chocoalte coins to give out.  He likes doing that.  We bought Chinese food.  The lady at the restaurant showed us her pictures from her family's celebration.  She slipped in some cake that Kai LOVED!

This is how I spend all of my free time - engrossed in genealogy!

New braces for the monkey child

Liz decided to perm her hair!

Joy had a follow up for her knee.  We discovered puberty has brought a length leg discrepancy and scoliosis.  New braces with a build up on the short size.  Now we follow up with the scoli clinic as well as the orthopedist.  And strawberry pancakes afterwards!

Lots of time with my babies this month!

Hearing aids for Daddy!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

New Year, New Book to Study

This year we are studying the Book of Mormon.  I love this book!  It has been a steady and constant blessing in my life.I have no idea how many times I have read it cover to cover.  Every day is what I strive to do.  But this year I am trying to study a little deeper, a little better.
I loved this quote from President Nelson:
My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Nook of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions, - every day.  I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life.  I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Monron, you can be imminzied against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions" ("The Book of Mormon:What Would Your Life Be Like without it?" Ensign, Nov. 2017, 62-63).
As I thought about that, I realized the more we put in, the more we are blessed!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Grateful, so, so Grateful!

Tonight through the Holy Priesthood of God, our son, Zheng Kai Turpin was sealed to our family for time and all eternity!  It was so awesome!  Kai was happy and could feel the Holy Ghost.  I loved kneeling at the alter, holding Jason's hand and touching Kai while looking at my big girls.  There are no feelings better than Spirit filled blessings in the temple!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

December 10th

A sweet friend of mine lets me come volunteer in her Kindergarten classroom. I try to come weekly, but with my van having been in the shop and all of the medical lately, I haven't been in a month. I walked in this morning to hear sweet voices saying, "I missed you!" My heart!  Sweet babies!
Twenty-five years ago today, our sweet son was born. One day we will have the sweetest reunion, and I will say, "I missed you!!" Happy birthday, sweet Ben!

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Church and Life and Love

Jason and I are back to alternating weeks for church attendance.  It's not fair to ask Alex to sit for an hour, quietly, without any noisy toys to help him, without letting him kick the pew in front of him.  I decided this a couple of months ago when he got so mad at me (for not letting him kick the pew in front of us) that he threw his head back and almost broke my collar bone.  I decided we were done.  There is no point in Alex going to church, but the rest of us need it, so now Jason and I alternate, as we did when Bella was so ill.

So, as you have probably guessed, it's my week at home.  :)

I have the Mormon channel (music station) on, listening to the songs of the season.  I love Christmas hymns - music literally praising the Lord.  How it thrills my heart!  After one particularly reverent hymn, I was pondering once again the juxtiposition that is my God.  So powerful, so awe inspiring, even to be feared, and on the other hand, my closest confidant and friend.  How is it that the Creator of worlds without numbers, the Knower of all, knows and loves me?

I love the Creation - listening to the beginnings of our planet and universe.  I am awed by how it all fits together, by the laws of nature that we try to understand.  It's all so vast, so incredible!  Outside of learning about my Savior and His love for all of us, learning about the creation is my favorite!  Organizing the elements, forming a planet, forming a universe, creating a sun, tides, seasons, day and night, plants - in all their varieties, animals, snowflakes, the list goes on and on.  And He did it so perfectly - this animal feeds this animal, while this animal eats plants - entire chains and webs.  Beauty everywhere!  All those stars.  I want to know more.  I'm just awestruck! My mind just can't grasp the width and depth of the creation.

Down on the personal level, I know I am loved.  He loves me.  I know this.  But I also know that He also loves my sister that lives in the deepest jungles of the Amazon, or the one living in a high rise in Shanghai, or the one living in a refugee camp.  My needs are know.  Their needs are know.  How does He do that?  How does He do both the Big picture and the Teeny picture?  How does He know the amount of times Alex has taken off his clothes and smeared the poop from his diaper on the floor or the amount of holes in my walls from his kicking or how often he has gotten frustrated with me and slammed his head into whatever hard surface he can find? How many seizures he's actually had today.  I have no idea, but I know He knows.  And I know He knows the particulars about all of my brothers and sisters all over this world, worlds without end.  Blows my mind!  All of those teeny, tiny little details!

I am so grateful! Grateful that while He is so powerful, amazing, and awe inspiring (where are the words to describe Him?), He would have me know of His love and personal knowledge of me - Shelly.  I am grateful and love my All-Knowing, All Powerful, and Loving, Caring, Wonderful God!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Bella Update

We were sitting in triage.  Bella is being measured for height and weight.  She is silly, but knows exactly what to do and when. It's cute.  It's sad.  And in my mind's eye, overlayed, is Bella in her KidCart in a triage room being measured for height and weight.  It's surprising what triggers a memory, something simple usually.
So today was pulmonology.  She'll start a bunch of meds to help with allergies/asthma.  The hope being to give us the most accurate information from the sleep study in November.  No one doubts she is desating at night. I'm still worried about getting the test performed.  Will Bella cooperate?  She didn't in August.  We now attend a special therapy once a week just on medical trauma, hoping to lessen some of that fight/flight response to medical equipment and personnel.
Doctor noticed clubbing of her fingers.  Why hasn't anyone called it that before?  (Yes, I am a little annoyed here.) We went through a whole series of testing for Juvenile RA because of her fingers and toes.  And now, one year later, those same fingers and toes are showing one of the evidences of her chronic hypoxia.  I'm so afraid. All of this compensating she has been doing for all of these years, what is it doing to her body?  And when is her body going to decide to scream for some relief? And will she survive that?  So I am working with ENT, Sleep Specialists, and Pulmology, and the medical trauma therapist to get to the bottom of this.  Everyone keeps mentioning her heart, so I may have to rope in Cardiology as well.
ENT doesn't think she'll tolerate bi-pap if she needs that. She mentioned she was afraid we'd have to go to the trach.  Pulm says she's right, if she doesn't tolerate the bi-pap, it's a trach.  But let's not jump the gun.  I really, really, really don't want to go back there.  At all.

To keep it real, here is how we deal with it - we put on a brave face and we smile :)
Dr. Bella, what she calls herself while we wait for doctors.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Old Town Amish Store Salt Rising Bread (from Starter)

4 3/4 cup  bread flour
3 T sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons soft butter
1 1/2 cup salt rising starter
1 extra large egg
1 Tablespoon water

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast.
Add milk, butter and salt rising starter.
Slowly mix in the additional 3 3/4 cups of flour.
Knead dough for 10 minutes.
Cover with oil and a wet towel and let rise until doubled.
Beat down, shape into desired loaves and let rise until doubled.
Brush with an egg wash and bake 375 for 30 minutes. or until pounding on loaf creates a hollow sound.

Starter: After use, feed the starter with one cup of water, 3/4 cup of flour, and 1/4 cup of corn meal

When I bought the starter, it came with this recipe and these instructions:
For starter add two cups of warm water to the enclosed bag mix. 
Place in a container and cover loosely.  Allow fermentation to occur for 24 hours.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

First Day of School

I can’t believe I’m here – on August 14th - with everyone is school!  We survived!

Kai had two activities – a summer STEM camp at KSB and BELL Academy.
Alex went to ESY (summer school) at Churchill Park.
Joy and Bella went to three camps – Camp Rauch, Vacation Bible School, and Derby Dinner Musical Theater Camp.
Liz went to Alaska on a cruise with my parents, to EFY, and to Youth Conference in Nauvoo.
Jes went to Japan and was able to find a job here in town that she can continue once she goes back to EKU.
All the girls and Dad went to Houston for a week to my parent’s Lake House.

I had detailed lists and calendars.  I prayed a lot.  Summer with my specific population is tricky.  Routines rule and Mama can’t be a teacher, 2 aides, janitor, nutrition staff, and various therapists.  There is a reason school is so awesome – there is a team of highly qualified individuals working with my babies and giving each other breaks

Anyway, I read and pondered this scripture every morning to get me through:
D&C 68:6
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear;
 for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you;
I am grateful I had that to ponder each morning and remind myself that I’m not alone and He and I are in this together.

So here I am on the other side of summer, grateful.  Grateful that Alex got into summer school last minute.  Grateful that Kai got into STEM camp last minute.  Grateful that Musical Theater Camp had an employee from Down Syndrome of Louisville at their camp to make it accessible and successful for the girls. Grateful we made it.  Grateful all of our surgeries went well.  Grateful that we have good doctors who look after my kids.

First Day pictures:


Mama’s first day of school activities:

Joy brought this home:

Yay for school!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Shrimp and Green Beans

1 pound shrimp
2 cans green beans - French
1 onion and 2 cloves garlic, some ginger
1 cup chicken broth

Saute onion, garlic, and giner.
Add shrimp and cook until pink.
Add green beans and broth.
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Thicken with cornstarch.
Serve with rice.

Individual Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

My favorite salad Mama served at the bakery!

1 cup cooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup diced onions, clove garlic chopped browned and cooled
1/2 avocado sliced
1//4 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 chopped green onions
4-5 cooked shrimp

Mix together pasta, onions/garlic mixure, green onion and avocado.  Mix with Italian dressing.  Place shrimp on salad and then sprinkle almonds on top.

Hearty Pasta Casserole

16 oz penne pasta
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 T oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound of ground bef
14.5 can of stewed beef, undrained
8 oz of tomato sauce
2 t of dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

Cooke pasta. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  add shallots and garlic, saute for 2 minutes.  add mushrooms and beef.  Cook until beef in browned.  Stir in tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, basil and cream.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cooked pasta to saucepan.  Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan; mix well.  Spoon mixture into greased casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and then bake for about 15 minutes (covered). Uncover, backe until cheese is melted about 10 minutes.

Korean Spinach Salad

2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine in a jar, Shake to mix, Chill for 2 hours. (I don't)
11/2 pounds fresh Spinach (one bag)
5 slices bacon
8 ounces bean sprouts
1 can (8oz) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs, hard boiled and sliced

Optional Additions:
Cooked chicken, almonds, blue cheese, goat cheese

For the salad, wash the spinach well.  Trim, discard tough stems.  Tear leaves into bite sized pieces.  Cook bacon until crisp; crumble.  Combine spinach, bean sprouts and water chestnuts in a large bowl and toss to mix.  Sprinkle with crumbed bacon.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well. Season with salt and black pepper.  Slice the eggs and arrange on top of the salad.

Roasted Carrots

Package of carrots
olive oil
dried herb - basil, dill, or rosemary

Preheat to 375.  Peel carrots and slice into long, thin strips.
Place in gallon bag.  Add just enough oil to coat carrots and add a couple taspoons of heb to bag.
Close bag and shake.
Place on cookie sheet ina single layer
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Oyster Stuffing

Cooked cornbread, crumbled
1 large onion
1 bunch of green onions
2 cloves minced garlic
4 stalks chopped celery
1 loaf French bread, dried out a little
1 pint oysters (reserve juice), chopped fine
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Combine.  Stuffing should be moist before cooking.  Season to taste.  Place in large baking dish and bake at 350 for one hour

Funeral Potatoes

10 potatoes - peeled and grated  (NOT FROZEN)
1 can chicken of chicken soup
1/2 stick butter
1/2 pint sour cream
1/4 cup green onions
1 cup grated cheese
2 cups corn flakes

Combine all ingredients into a large casserole dish.
Melt butter and coat corn flakes
Top casserole with cereal.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350

Ham and Cabbage Soup

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
8 ounces of cubed cooked ham
1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
2 cups sliced carrots
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon caraway seed and pepper
2 cups water
2 packets instant beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water

In a large pot, heat butter until bubbly and hot; add onion and garlic and saute.  Add ham and mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.  Add cabbage, carrots, bay leaf, caraway seed and pepper and continue sauteing for 5 minutes.  Stir in water and broth mix; bring to a boil  Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.  Stir in dissolved cornstarch and let simmer, uncovered until mixture thickens about 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf before service.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

1/2 cup wild rice
5 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoon butter
1 large carrot, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
\2 stalks celery stalks, chopped
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped chicken

Combine 2 1/2 cups chicken broth and wild rice in saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered until rice is tender. about 1 hour.  Drain and set aside.  Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add carrot, cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Add chopped onion, chopped celery and sliced mushrooms cook and stir until vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and white pepper until smooth. 
Gradually stir in remaining 2 1.2 cups chicken broth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened, about 1 minute.  Stir in chicken.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered until soup is heated through, about 3 minutes.  Spoon 1/4 cup cooked wild rice into each serving bowl.  ladle soup over rice.